Monday, May 30, 2011


Growing up in Canada we celebrated the Queen's birthday on the Monday closest to the 24th. of May. It was also firecracker day. November 11th is Rememberance Day and they sell cloth poppies on the street corners that people pin onto their coats or jackets in remembrance of the poppies that grow in Flanders Field. My Father served in both WW1 and WW2. He was too young in WW1 and lied about his age. He was from Northern Ireland and joined the Irish Fusilliers. He was taken prisoner of war and escaped back to the British. He was excused from service and inmmediately joined up with the Black Watch and served with them until 1919. Along came WW2 and living in Canada we followed England and when war was declared in 1939 he immediately joined up
and was too old for active overseas duty so was sent up to blind River in Northern Ontario to a POW camp to guard the German pows. Too young for one war and too old for the other but he still found a way to serve. He spent 6 miserable years up there where there was nothing to do but play cards, drink and smoke. He did all 3like all the rest of them and came out a changed man. Needless to say our family was never the same and they split when I was young. I often wonder what our life would have been like if there was no war and our father had stayed with us. My Mom raised 3 girls on her own and worked very hard. Later in my latter teen years I re-united with him and would see him on occasion. I think of him on St. Patricks Day when they play Danny Boy and on this holiday when we honour our soldiers. He passed away many years ago and may he rest in peace.

I bought 3 orchids home from Florida to see if I could get them to bloom. The one had some buds on it but the other 2 did not. This week the one with the blooms started to open but nothing on the others yet. I decided the perfect place for them would be in our bathroom as it has a window and a large skylight over the jacuzzi tub. Perfect light but no direct sunlight on them.

I took some pics of our bathroom and one of my favorite things - a valet stand that I picked up at a garage sale many years ago. I believe I paid $15.00 for it. He told me he had paid well over 150.00 for it but was getting thrown out of his apt. and was living with his Dad. He wanted more but that was all I had in cash and he wouldn't take a check. Hence I got it for the 15. On it is a beautiful irish crochet top that my MIL made for herself. She wore it for a few years then put weight on and I was the only one who it fit. I did wear it a few times and now it resides on the valet along with some little angel soap, dried roses and hand towels decorated with angels.

Hopefully I will be blogging more regularly then the last month. I also must say that blogger will not let me post comments on any blog where you have to hit google as my account and then put in the letters. It immediately takes me to blogger who wants my email and password. I give it and then go back and it starts all over. I have done it round and round 3-4 times and it still just rolls around. So if some of you haven't heard from me that is the reason. I must start keeping a note of the blogs where this happens and let them know.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


It has been almost a week since I posted and my ribs are feeling better. In fact I spent some time outside yesterday digging weeds and dandelions out between the flagstone walks and the brick walks. We have brick around the front and around the side to the shed and they connect up to the deck so Harv. can just easily roll on the deck. The flagstone goes from the stone steps off the deck around the side flower bed and then up the side yard to the front lawn. That one is a walk to nowhere but you need something there. I wasn't sure how I would feel today but felt fine.

I bought 4 baskets last week at Aldis. They were a bargain. Large size baskets for 5.99 each except not too much choice. The ones I did get are great for our partly sunny/mostly shade backyard. I did not empty the baskets that line the fence before we left last year like I usually do but because of the surgery I did not and there they were. They had survived the winter in good shape and the earth still in them. I went to our local store and bought a flat of various flowers, 1 large begonia because I liked the color and some hanging vines. I bought a large bag of Miracle Gro potting soil and today I went out and filled the baskets with a variety of flowers. The nice thing is I could mix the flowers and add the trailing vines like you only get in the very expensive baskets. They are lined up like soldiers along the sunny end of the deck and I will leave them there for a week or two until they start to take off. We have 8 hangers along the fence where I hang baskets to add color to all the green. I also filled an old shoe and 2 of the Down Under Pots where you plant the flowers in the bottom and they fill out and climb up the pots. I have had one for quite a few years when they first came out and then at a house sale I found a beautiful blue glased one for 5.00. It had never been used. I believe I paid 25.00 for the plain clay one at the botanic Gardens when they were first out.

I took some pics of the deck garden, the side yard and my rhubarb. We love rhubarb Harv and I and it is so expensive to buy the stalks - like gold. the only place I can buy it frozen is in Florida. Stores here do not have it. Last year my daughter was driving along and saw a sign "free rhubarb". It was in cartons to just take. She bought it home and planted some in her sunny garden area and I tried some here in the little garden off the stone steps. We had to remove a large tree last year that had roots pushing up the large stone slab steps and the deck. They drilled it right down but I kept removing sawdust and putting in new soil but wasn't sure what would happen. Well it is growing. I am so proud of my little garden and hope I get enough to make a strawberry rhubarb pie this year. If I get enough I will freeze it.

I also showed pics of my shade garden with all my ferns, including maidenhair fern which is one of my favorites. I have a large pink bleeding heart down there and a birdbath that needs the top put back on. It is cement and too heavy for me. I also took a pic of two evergreen trees that I just love. don't know what kind they are but very airy and pretty. I buy a hibiscus tree every year and picked up that yesterday also. The two pieces of cement do not look very pretty but saves me having to pick up the tree every day out of the garden and haul it back onto the deck. You do what you gotta do.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


The pics above show the beautiful box and the brooch that was inside wrapped in very pretty tissue paper. It looks to me as if Sandi painted the tile to match the rose tissue. Even the tissue paper is a keeper.

I am still unpacking. We arrived home on Sun. late afternoon and the 2 suitcases made it upstairs but still not unpacked. I had all the rest of my junk (sewing stuff) loaded in the trunk also so took time getting that out. Piled on the dining room table. I have been shopping for food as the pantry is bare. Went to see my daughter on Mon. and stopped and spent $132.00 on the way home at the food store. Went out again today with a better list and spent another 110.00. Holy cow. What are young families doing with growing kids to feed. Hopefully I have us stocked up for a couple of weeks with just fresh milk, fruit, etc. needed. I have never kept track of what I spend on food but it might surprise me if I did for a couple of months. Maybe I will try that just out of curiosity.

Actually the main reason that I am trying to take it easy unpacking is that I hurt my ribs on the right side just before we left. I was on the ladder in the garage that pulls down to the attic and I couldn't reach the suitcases. I reached too far and a piece of wood caught me between the ribs. I am sure it is just bruised but I tell you I never want anymore bruised or broken. You can't laugh, get the hiccups, turn over in bed or reach down to get things without it hurting. I have been taking advil to dull it. I am sure in another week or so it will feel better. I hope.

Friday, May 6, 2011


Just a quick note tonight as we are leaving in the morning and I still have things to finish. I was in one of Linda's swaps and it was to be a vintage brooch that could be worn on Mother's Day. I posted it off Tues. and they said it would arrive no later then Fri. so it is safe for me to show you now. Linda said you could send the brooch any way you wanted - in a corsage, in a hankie, etc. I had a bunch of baby shoes and chose that way. I wrapped around the top of the boot with some pretty old Irish crochet lace and glued it down. In the shoe I stuffed pink tissue and then pushed a pretty doily over the paper and had a small rhinestone on the top. I added pink ribbon to match the tissue and then added this rhinestone brooch from the flea market. After all it is going to a girl or lady so pink was appropriate.

I made a little tag to go with it and put this picture which I have used before and love. It was just the right size when just the face was needed. I hope my swap partner likes it. I sent her a note and said she doesn't have to wear the whole thing on Mother's Day - just remove the brooch. Little humor here.

I will receive mine on Mon. because I gave her my Il address and they are holding our mail up there all this past week and will deliver it on Monday.

I will probably be off for a little while while I unload the van, grocery shop, visit the dentist, both of us on different days for cleaning plus Harv has to go downtown to the Rehab. Institute for his annual checkup. On top of that Mon. I am heading over to my daughters and she is taking me to see their new house and they are moving May 20. They have had it for awhile so have been able to get new furniture delivered, take over tons of stuff so the movers will probably just have bare furniture to move. She is only moving about a mile or 2. Same schools for all 3 boys, same friends, same church and she is happy.

Take care and see you all next week.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Last Sat. was the annual flower and craft sale in Apopka, FL. Apopka is about 20 miles west of us and is the home of the largest fern growers in the country. Apopka and surrounding areas are just full of greenhouses. The orchid and bromeliad one that I frequently go to to buy orchids is located there also. This was the 50th. anniversery of this fair. It is hosted every year by the Apopka Women's Club. They should be very proud. Growers are there selling their plants and they are so inexpensive compared to what we would pay for the same thing up north. They had huge tables with every type of fern you could think of for $1.00 a small pot. I always say I need a trailer to haul everything back and forth and good job I don't have one or you know what it would be loaded with. Half flowers and half CQ supplies. I did go with one thing in mind and that was the miniature violets. They had them last year and I bought a few and I was hoping they would be there and they were. A young man was selling just African violets - both the miniatures and the regular violets. Every color and flower shape imaginable. The miniatures are never seen for sale anywhere since I bought my first few from a women who sold them at the flea market years ago but hasn't been back there in years. I picked up 3 to take home. They are only about an inch and a half pots and he said to just keep them in that size and if they do grow too crowded then just into about a 2" pot (if you could find that size).

After getting the violets I strolled around the craft fair and almost got away without buying anything until I came to the booth of the lady from Tampa who does crazy quilting in purses, cuffs, etc. She just started making large bags or satchells as you calls them. I spyed the orange/brown one and it just grabbed me.
I had talked to her last year and probably before that as she does this show every year. We always talk about CQ. She doesn't know anyone who does it except me - does not own a computer and knows nothing about buying on the internet. Strictly self taught and all her own ideas. She picks up gorgeous fabrics everywhere she goes and does more with the fabrics, flowers, etc and not as much embellishing as we normally do now. She does beautiful work. Well Harv came along while we were talking and saw me holding the bag and said are you going to buy it and I said well I like it and he said go ahead Mothers Day is Sunday and that will be your present. The man loves getting out of buying presents. Of course I was happy to get it also and we will be spending Mothers Day in the car as we are leaving On Sat. morning early and hope to be in Chicago Sun. night if all goes well. If traffic is bad or construction we will stay an extra night and arrive early Mon.

Well I shot some pics of the purse. It is loaded with my stuff already and will be my summer hang around bag. Should take lots of wear. I should have told you that she also recycles everything she can and included a piece of a leather belt sewed to a Mexican serafe belt and a piece of leather on the front of the purse. She also used the front decoration piece that would have been worn as a front scarf and she added beads to it and attached to the purse. I have to start looking at belts in a new way. If you have seen Kathy Kizerian's purse with the beautiful pink strap and rhinestone buckle it was made from a re-cycled belt. We have to keep our eyes open ladies. I did question sewing on the leather but turns out she has a commercial machine she has had for years that sews thru everything. Sometimes I wish I had bought one years ago. So many things you can do with one. Too late now.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I cannot believe it has been two weeks since I last posted. I have been either very busy or very lazy. I did sit all Fri. afternoon and watched the Royal Wedding festivities that I tivod. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing and especially at the beginning watching all the people coming into the Abby. The women were for the most part beautifuly dressed and some of the hats were gorgeous. Some a little too fanciful but I think even I who hates hats could wear one of these little tiny sideways ones. The bride was beautiful and so was her dress. Wouldn't we die for a piece of that lace to put on a crazy quilt. Well will just have to settle for the flea market stuff. Queen Elizabeth looked lovely in her outfit and really she looks great for 85.

Speaking of the flea market I did go over this morning with 3 watches in tow that needed batteries and had the 3 replaced for 9.50. You can tell that the snowbirds have gone or are going including the people themselves who sell there. It was very small outside but I did pick up a bunch of lace pieces, doilies, etc. I should have taken pics first but I just can't wait to get them into soaking first thing. I don't like bringing fabric home that can't go right into the soaking tub with some Biz. When they are soaked and dried I will snap some pics. I picked up 4 small glass candle holders for 1.50 for all 4. I use these to set my miniature violets in and place on the window ledge in the sunroom. More about these another day.

I am posting the pics of the almost finished infamous butterfly non-quilt. I made the 12 blocks into 3 long strips and just finished them with a 1/2" edging. The middle fairy I did add a lot of beading to the leaves, etc. Went around her outside wings with some silver lined glass ones and that added a lot. I picked up some black and white trim at the CQ Adventure and used this around the inside edge of the black. I dyed a couple of flowers pink and a couple violet to see what looked best and decided on the violet. When I started to go over the pink with violet I liked the look so that is what it ended up. Pink flowers with a little violet edging.
I showed it to my sewing group girls and they said they thought I needed something in the black sections also. Please see what you think and I will certainly appreciate any comments. I hope Gerry from Older Rose reads this because she is so good at that. I may send her an email and ask her to look and give me her thoughts.

We are winding down here and leaving for home next Sat. May 7. The weather is just beautiful the last few days in the 80's with a breeze and no humidity. This is what april should be not the 90's we were having. I have to start cleaning up the sewing room and see how much I can jam in the back of the van. What will not fit I will ship up home. I wonder what it would be like to not have any hobbies and just pack your clothes and take off. Even my hubby who doesn't take many clothes back and forth just leaves them in each house has his art supplies and large tackle box filled with painting stuff so I am not the only one. We take our laptops and leave our dell in the den and all other household stuff just stays. I have double in each place now.

If you click on the pics after opening them they will enlarge to see them better. Especially the long ones.